Five College Archives and Manuscript
                        Collections
Home >> Amherst College Archives & Special Collections >> Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials, 1965-2009
Amherst College seal
Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials, 1965-2009
3 records storage boxes (3 linear ft.)

Abstract:
Chiefly selected job files related to the commercial work of the Oliphant Press, a New York City printing and graphic design firm founded by Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) in 1966, containing corres-pondence, sketches and intermediate designs, invoices, finished press specimens, etc. Clients include a wide variety of mostly New York City-based cultural and educational institutions, but also largely featuring Amherst College. Jobs included broad¬sides, book-lets, keepsakes, bookplates, bookmarks, holiday cards, invita¬tions, and stationery, as well as glossy softcover editions. Also, printed ephemera produced by and for the Press itself, as well as Ron Gordon's personal family holiday greeting cards and invitations.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Amherst, MA

Biographical Note

Ronald M. Gordon (AC 1965), a leading printer and typographic designer and founder of the Oliphant Press in New York City, was born in Scranton, Pa. in 1943. While a student at Amherst College, he learned the craft of letterpress printing from Leonard Baskin and Harold McGrath at Gehenna Press in Northampton, Mass. After graduating from Amherst, Gordon worked with New York printer Joseph Blumenthal at the Spiral Press. He established the Oliphant Press as a private press in New York City in the fall of 1966, producing, at first, mostly limited runs of small chapbooks of poetry by Gordon's friends. In 1969, he married Stephanie Lewis, who also became a co-proprietor. In 1970, the enterprise expanded to become a commercial printer and relocated to Six Varick Street. Various cultural institutions (such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Grolier Club), small publishers, booksellers, and private individuals began to make use of its services.

The Press moved to a new location on Sixth Avenue in 1972. Ron Gordon and his work at the Press were the subject of an exhibition at the American Institute of Graphic Arts in 1974. In book publishing, however, Gordon eventually got out of the business of publishing under the Oliphant Press imprint in favor of providing high-quality design and print work (both letterpress and offset) for customers who assumed their own production and marketing costs. Perhaps most notably, Gordon designed half of the titles produced by William Targ under the famous Targ Editions imprint. The Oliphant Press has printed first editions of works by such writers as Samuel Beckett, Ray Bradbury and John Updike, and books illustrated by artists such as Leonard Baskin, Edward Gorey, and Maurice Sendak.

The Press again changed addresses in New York City in 1976, returning downtown (145 Hudson Street), where design, typesetting, printing and binding could all be done at the same location. From 2001 to 2007, Oliphant Press operated in a 19th-century era building at 443 Greenwich Street. When that building was sold, he moved the Press back to Varick Street.

Ron Gordon has served on the Board of Advisors of the Wells College Book Arts Center and has taught graphic design there. In 2007 the Amherst College Library mounted an exhibit of his work. An appreciation of his work appears in Reflections of Two Craftsmen: Sam Ellenport & Ron Gordon (Club of Odd Volumes, 2012).

The Amherst College Library holds a nearly comprehensive collection of the productions of the Oliphant Press.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists chiefly of selected commercial job files containing correspondence, sketches and intermediate designs, invoices, finished press specimens, etc., related to the commercial work of the Oliphant Press, a New York City printing and graphic design firm founded by Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) in 1966. Clients include a wide variety of mostly New York City-based cultural and educational institutions, but also largely featuring Amherst College, for which the Press produced a variety of printed materials for its Library, the Friends of the Library, and administration. Jobs included broadsides, booklets, keepsakes, bookplates, bookmarks, holiday cards, invitations, and stationery, as well as glossy softcover editions produced for museums such as the Frick Collection. Included here also are printed ephemera produced by and for the Press itself, as well as Ron Gordon's personal family holiday greeting cards and invitations. All have been selected from the commercial files of the Oliphant Press and donated for this collection as samplings of the Press's work. (A nearly comprehensive collection of the Press's publications is held in the Amherst College Library.)


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in Ronald Gordon (AC 1965) Oliphant Press Materials [Box #, Folder #], Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library

History of the Collection

Gift of Ronald Gordon, chiefly in 2008 and 2013.

Processing Information

Processed in 2014 by Peter Nelson, Archivist.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives
Language
English

Contents List
SERIES 1: Oliphant Press Job Files, Chronological,
1965-2008


Paul Ehrmann (AC 1965) and Mike Bick (AC 1965) - poems
ca. 1965-1966

Box 1: folder 1
Paul Ehrmann (AC 1965) - Saving Graces (poems)
1967

Box 1: folder 2-3
Oliphant Press business card
1970

Box 1: folder 4
Oliphant Press announcement
1970

Box 1: folder 5
Oliphant Press stationery
1972

Box 1: folder 6
Announcement of birth of Jeremy Edwin Gordon
1972 Feb

Box 1: folder 7
Jam labels: "Stephanie Gordon's Marmalades and Preserves"
1973 Apr

Box 1: folder 8
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1973 Jun

Box 1: folder 9
What Was It? by Fitz-James O'Brien, drawings by Leonard Baskin
1973-1974

Box 1: folder 10
Invitation to exhibition of works of Ronald Gordon and Oliphant Press at American Institute of Graphic Arts
1974

Box 1: folder 11
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1974 Jun

Box 1: folder 12
Announcement of birth of Miranda Lewis Gordon
1975 Jun

Box 1: folder 13
The Oliphant Press: The First Ten Years
1977 Jun

Box 1: folder 14
Oliphant Press moving notice
1976

Box 1: folder 15
Oliphant Press summer announcement
1977

Box 1: folder 16
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1978

Box 1: folder 17
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1979

Box 1: folder 18
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1981

Box 1: folder 19
Oliphant Press promotional material
1982 May

Box 1: folder 20
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1982

Box 1: folder 21
Amherst College library bookplate - Henry Mishkin
1982 Nov

Box 1: folder 22
Oliphant Press holiday card
1982 Dec

Box 1: folder 23
Amherst College library bookplate - Theodore Baird
1983 Mar

Box 1: folder 24
Jack Robinson retirement keepsake ("Oliver Simon on Deckles")
1983

Box 1: folder 25
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1983

Box 1: folder 26
Abe Lerner 75th birthday keepsake ("John Lewis on Typography")
1983

Box 1: folder 27
Oliphant Press holiday card
1983 Dec

Box 1: folder 28
Amherst College library bookplate - Laurence B. Packard
1984 Jan

Box 1: folder 29
Fine Print 10th anniversary
1984

Box 1: folder 30
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1985

Box 1: folder 31
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1986

Box 1: folder 32
Amherst College library bookplate - George Daniel Olds
1985 Aug

Box 1: folder 33
Oliphant Press holiday card
1986 Dec

Box 1: folder 34
Ron Gordon family holiday card
1986 Dec

Box 1: folder 35
Amherst College library bookplate - Morsman
1987 Mar

Box 1: folder 36
Oliphant Press promotional material - foundations
1987 May

Box 1: folder 37
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1987 May

Box 1: folder 38
Amherst College library bookplate - Rosenblum
1988 Feb

Box 1: folder 39
Oliphant Press summer vacation notice
1988

Box 1: folder 40
Ron Gordon family holiday card and invitation
1988 Dec

Box 1: folder 41
Fax number announcement, etc.
1990

Box 1: folder 42
Ron Gordon family holiday card
1990

Box 1: folder 43
Miranda Gordon sweet sixteen party invitation
1991 Mar

Box 1: folder 44
Oliphant Press newsletter
1992 Mar

Box 1: folder 45
Oliphant Press promotional material for New York Public Library space marketing luncheon
1992 Jul-Aug

Box 1: folder 46
Oliphant Press holiday card
1992

Box 1: folder 47
Ron Gordon birthday party invitation
1993 May

Box 1: folder 48
Oliphant Press holiday card
1993

Box 1: folder 49
Broadside for American Printing History Association
1994 Jul

Box 1: folder 50
Oliphant Press ornament and business card design
1994 Dec

Box 1: folder 51
Oliphant Press holiday card
1994 Dec

Box 1: folder 52
Logo for the Friends of the Amherst College Library
1995 Feb

Box 1: folder 53
Ron Gordon family holiday card
1995

Box 1: folder 54
Oliphant Press logo for shipping labels and stationery
1996 May

Box 1: folder 55
Friends of the Amherst College Library: "Speaking of Frost" booklet
1997 Jun

Box 1: folder 56
Oliphant Press holiday card
1997

Box 1: folder 57
Ron Gordon family holiday card
1997

Box 1: folder 58
Oliphant Press holiday card
1998

Box 1: folder 59
Oliphant Press letterhead
2001 Oct

Box 1: folder 60
Oliphant Press notice of moving to 441 Greenwich St.
2001

Box 1: folder 61
Oliphant Press holiday card
2001

Box 1: folder 62
Oliphant Press summer closing announcement
2002

Box 1: folder 63
Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: "October" by David Ferry (AC 1946)
2002 Sep

Box 1: folder 64
Amherst College library bookplate - Nicholas H. Heaney
2002

Box 1: folder 65
Oliphant Press holiday card
2002

Box 1: folder 66
Ron Gordon family holiday card
2003 Dec

Box 1: folder 67
Abe Lerner, 1908-2002, for The Typophiles
2003

Box 1: folder 68
Tribute to Alexander Heiskell
[2003]

Box 1: folder 69
Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: J.J. Lankes Illustrates Robert Frost
2004 Dec

Box 1: folder 70
Amherst College library bookplate - Class of 1965
2005 Mar

Box 1: folder 71
Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: "Hotel Bar" by J.D. McClatchey
2005 Aug

Box 1: folder 72
Ron Gordon family holiday card
2005 Nov

Box 1: folder 73
Tow: Poems by Eileen Myles
2005

Box 1: folder 74
Amherst College library bookplate - Class of 1956
2006 Apr

Box 1: folder 75
Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: Henry Steele Commager symposium
2007 Aug

Box 1: folder 76
Samuel Johnson's "Designs" for The Johnsonians
2008

Box 1: folder 77
Oliphant Press - Ron Gordon birthday party invitation
2008

Box 1: folder 78
Ron Gordon family New Years card
2008 Dec

Box 1: folder 79
SERIES 2: Oliphant Press Job Files, Alphabetical



Academy of American Poets


Box 2: folder 1
American Museum of Natural History


Box 2: folder 2
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library certificates
1978 Mar

Box 2: folder 3
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library bookmarks
1979 Oct

Box 2: folder 4
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: James Merrill broadside ("Think Tank")
1983

Box 2: folder 5
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: Rolfe Humphries keepsake ("A Ragbag of Old Airs")
1985 Mar

Box 2: folder 6
Amherst College Library bookplate - Harris
1989

Box 2: folder 7
Amherst College class of 1965 25th Reunion book
1990

Box 2: folder 8
Amherst College Library bookplate - Cooper
1990

Box 2: folder 9
Amherst College class of 1965 certificates
1990 Jun

Box 2: folder 10
Amherst College Library bookplate - Perry
1990 Aug

Box 2: folder 11
Amherst College Library bookplate - Friends of the Amherst College Library
1990 Aug

Box 2: folder 12
Amherst College Library: Frost Library Fellow certificate presented to Richard Wilbur
1991 Mar

Box 2: folder 13
Amherst College Library bookplate - Calmus
1991 Apr

Box 2: folder 14
Amherst College Library bookplate - Whitney
1992 Feb

Box 2: folder 15
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: Emily Dickinson: A Letter
1992 Oct

Box 2: folder 16
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library membership certificates
1993 Aug

Box 2: folder 17
Amherst College Library bookplate - Hemley
1994 Jan

Box 2: folder 18
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: Anthony Hecht, Library Fellow ("Death Sauntering About")
1994 Mar-Apr

Box 2: folder 19
Amherst College Library bookplate - Maurer
1994 Sep

Box 2: folder 20
Amherst College Library - Bridegam 20th anniversary commemoration
1996 Feb-Apr

Box 2: folder 21
Amherst College Library bookplate - Jewett (reprint)
1996 Sep

Box 2: folder 22
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: Timothy Steele ("For Victoria, Travelling in Europe")
1996 Sep

Box 2: folder 23
Amherst College Library bookplate - Jeltrup (reprint)
1996 Nov

Box 2: folder 24
Amherst College Library bookplate - White
1999 Apr

Box 2: folder 25
Amherst College Library bookplate - Denton
1999 Jun

Box 2: folder 26
Amherst College New Year's card
1999 Sep

Box 2: folder 27
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library keepsake: Jay Parini ("The Trees Are Gone")
2000 Jan

Box 2: folder 28
Amherst College Library bookplates - Brooks, Friends of the Amherst College Library
2000 Oct

Box 2: folder 29
Amherst College New Year's card
2000

Box 2: folder 29a
Amherst College Library bookplate - Harris
2001 Oct

Box 2: folder 30
Amherst College New Year's card
2001 Nov

Box 2: folder 31
Amherst College New Year's card
2002 Dec

Box 2: folder 32
Amherst College New Year's card
2003 Dec

Box 2: folder 33
Amherst College New Year's card
2004 Nov

Box 2: folder 34
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: J.J. Lankes Illustrates Robert Frost
2005

Box 2: folder 35
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: Two Poems By Robert Frost
2006

Box 2: folder 36
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: Sarah Ruhl: "From Poetry to Playwriting"
2009

Box 2: folder 37
Amherst College New Year's card
2009 Dec

Box 2: folder 38
Amherst College: Friends of the Amherst College Library: miscellaneous keepsakes


Box 2: folder 39
Amherst College Library - bookplates, miscellaneous


Box 2: folder 40
Andrews/Nelson/Whitehead Paper Co.


Box 2: folder 41
Asia Society


Box 2: folder 42
Barnard College


Box 2: folder 43
Bronx Zoo


Box 2: folder 44
David Lewis, Inc.


Box 2: folder 45
Folger Library


Box 2: folder 46
Frick Collection - miscellaneous


Box 2: folder 47-48
Frick Collection - annual report
1995

Box 2: folder 53
Frick Collection
2001

Box 2: folder 54
Frick Collection
2006

Box 2: folder 49
Frick Collection
2007

Box 2: folder 50
Frick Collection
2008

Box 2: folder 51
Frick Collection - lecture and concert programs
1976-1989

Box 2: folder 52
Frick Collection
2009

Box 2: folder 55
Grolier Club


Box 2: folder 56
Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies
n.d.

Box 2: folder 57
Independent College Funds of America
1977-1979

Box 2: folder 58
Jewish Museum


Box 2: folder 59
Lincoln Center - Chamber Music Society


Box 2: folder 60
Manuscript Society


Box 2: folder 61
Metropolitan Museum of Art


Box 3: folder 1-2
Morgan Library


Box 3: folder 3
Mount Vernon Ladies' Association of the Union
1982, 1984

Box 3: folder 4
Museum of Modern Art


Box 3: folder 5
National Book Awards


Box 3: folder 6
New York Botanical Garden


Box 3: folder 7
New-York Historical Society


Box 3: folder 8
New York Public Library


Box 3: folder 9
New York Zoological Society


Box 3: folder 10
Pierpont Morgan Library


Box 3: folder 11
Sandstone Press


Box 3: folder 12
Weinberger, Roy - Poems prospectus


Box 3: folder 13
Whitney Museum


Box 3: folder 14
SERIES 3: Miscellaneous Oliphant Press Printed Ephemera, ca.
1970-2009


Poetry


Box 3: folder 15
Broadsides


Box 3: folder 16
Invitations


Box 3: folder 17
Ephemera, miscellaneous


Box 3: folder 18-21
Oversize material: "For Victoria, Traveling in Europe" by Timothy Steele; Snoqualmie Falls (holiday print), 1997; The Roxburghe Club, 1999; "Typographic style" (2 copies); samples of marbled papers
ca. 1997-1999

Map case MC5, drawer 10
SERIES 4: About Oliphant Press: Announcements, Print Specimens, Personal, ca.
1970-2009


20th anniversary commemorative engraving by Dean Bornstein
1990

Box 3: folder 23
About the Press - miscellaneous


Box 3: folder 24-26
Ron Gordon personal material


Box 3: folder 27

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Book designers - United States
  • Printed ephemera - United States
  • Printers - United States

Contributors
  • Gordon, Ronald
  • Oliphant Press


Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
Home | Help | About | Search